Posts Tagged ‘frugal meals’

PostHeaderIcon Printable Meal Planner and Grocery List

After taking a look at our monthly spending, I was horrified to see how much we spend on groceries. It’s so easy when you own a business directly next to a grocery store in a super small town, but those quick and little purchases add up FAST. Great for convenience, horrible on the checking account.

The solution we came up with was a menu plan and grocery list combined. I’m still “old fashioned” and like my pen and paper when it comes to making lists. Sorry, I just don’t care to type out my list on any digital device. Although I did design the template on the computer, and have found it SUPER easy to print out just before I go shopping.

We started with a monthly menu plan, which did work for the most part. The end of the month got a little stretched, though, so we switched to a 10-day plan. This actually covers about 2 weeks worth of meals and snacks for us. It also limits our shopping trips to about twice a month, ultimately saving us from too many in-store impulse buys yet still leaving room for changes in the menu.

Since this has been so successful for us, I thought it only right to share with everyone. Click on the picture below, save to your computer, and print off on a sheet of cardstock or other heavier paper. We fold ours in half, so the grocery list is on one side and the meals on the other. It’s easy to stick in my purse, but then still stash it in the kitchen when we bring our groceries home.

Printable meal plan and grocery list

Printable meal plan and grocery list

PostHeaderIcon Dinner in a Box – Is it Worth It?

Maybe it’s because of my upbringing, but I never could understand the concept of a meal in a box.

Once in a great while, I’ll wander down the “box dinner” section of the store, and pick up something that’s “super easy to make and ready in 30 mins or less”. However, I still have failed to see the real purpose of them, other than cleaver marketing.

We made a hamburger helper  beef stroganoff only once. After having to cook the hamburger and add a few other ingredients, I stood scratching my head as to WHY I bought basically the pasta and seasoning in a pretty box when I could have spent the same amount of money (or less) and time doing it from scratch. (Which we have ever since – see our Hamburger Beef Stroganoff recipe here)

Just a month or two ago, I got curious again about the boxes. As you may already know, we have a bread machine that is used on a very regular basis. A box for a wheat bread mix jumped out at me in the store, so I thought I’d give it a shot. Again, I was quite disappointed as I had to add a few of my own ingredients and it was nothing really special (we’ve had better bread from our own recipe collection).

So what about you? Do you use box dinners at all, or are you like me and questioned their purposes?